Matthew ‘confident’ of Open appearance

Matthew ‘confident’ of Open appearance

SH15687Yorkshire’s Nick Matthew is “confident” of returning to PSA Tour action at next month’s Allam British Open in Hull, after injuring an ankle at the El Gouna International in Egypt earlier this month.

Writing in the Sheffield Star today, the 34-year-old three-time champion says: “I don’t want to miss it and I’m confident I will be there. How close to full fitness I will be, I’m not sure at this stage.”

The pain of untimely injuries is difficult to deal with

SH15689Injuries are the worst part about the life of an athlete and unfortunately I am suffering with one at the minute.

It has fallen at the worst possible time as I build towards the British Open in three weeks. It’s the final event of the squash season, I’m a three-time winner and I’m desperate to win it again.

I was playing against world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International in the Egypt. I was one set up when my ankle gave way. It was a bit of a shock.

SH15690I’d been having a few problems with it for a while like being able to feel it when first walking on it in a morning. You think you just get these things with getting old.

Squash is a very tough sport on the joints with the high impact and quick turns. It also makes it very difficult to keep playing on an injury because there is no let up when you’re on the court.

There is bruising inside the joint which puts this injury in a grey area in terms of recovery. Some injuries are pretty black and white, even ones that are much more serious than the one I’ve got currently.

The problem with something like this ankle problem is that there’s no real way of knowing how it’s going to respond when I get back on court.

I’ve been back in training for a few days now but not actually stepped back on the court. We’re holding off on that for as long as possible to make sure we don’t end up going backwards with it.

SH15691I’m determined to be at the British Open and I’m pretty sure I will be, but the preparations will not have been ideal when I get there.

To use the football analogy, it is like a player getting injured with two games of a big promotion race to go. In that situation you’d push yourself to get through the games and maybe have an injection whereas you would probably take the time out to heal if it had happened midway through a season.

My whole squash year is built around the British Open. It’s our Wimbledon, being the most historic of the tournaments on the calendar. After it, I’ve got a few months to recover to get ready for next season which starts in September.

I don’t want to miss it and I’m confident I will be there. How close to full fitness I will be, I’m not sure at this stage.

Full article on the Star